Planet Rugby

Bulls saved by replacement Cook

02nd March 2013 16:59

Share:

Morne Steyn passing for Bulls

Got a try: Mornè Steyn

The Bulls survived a mighty scare from the Force as they fought back to overcome the Australian outfit 36-26.

22-26 down with ten minutes remaining, the men from Pretoria managed to create a rolling maul that allowed Jean Cook to cash in at the tail.

And what had looked like being a shock loss ultimately turned into a bonus-point win when tighthead Werner Kruger crashed over at the end.

The Bulls had come out in good form in the rain and didn't take long to get on the board when fly-half Mornè Steyn backed himself on the right side from 20 metres out. Steyn showed decent pace to go over in the corner but could not convert from the touchline, with the Bulls 5-0 to the good after two minutes.

However the Force struck back on ten minutes following strong work in the air from Nick Cummins. The Wallaby wing rose highest to claim Sias Ebersohn's tester and from the recycled ball the former Cheetahs fly-half was back in the pocket to cut the lead down to two. It was a warning shot to the Bulls.

The home side soon responded thanks to an initial break from young wing Sampie Mastriet. His line bust from halfway led to the Force offending at a resulting breakdown and when referee Jason Jaftha sounded his whistle, Steyn called for the kicking tee to cancel out that earlier Ebersohn drop-goal.

Ebersohn was back on the scoreboard on 26 minutes though after the Bulls backline came offside. And when the Force number ten then slotted a 60 metres shot at goal on the half-hour, the Australians were suddenly one point ahead.

That lead lasted just four minutes though as Steyn made it 11-9 due to captain Matt Hodgson entering a maul from the wrong side. Despite holding the slender lead, the Bulls fans who travelled to the stadium were not happy.

The mood looked to have improved when Bjorn Basson announced himself on the game with a scintillating finish that saw him cut inside from 20 metres out for what he thought was the game's first try. But following a TMO referral, the try was cancelled out due to Lionel Mapoe having thrown a forward pass.

Steyn did knock over three points as consolation on the first-half hooter in a spell that held more than a feeling could go away from the Western Force.

14-9 soon became 14-12 though only a minute after the restart when Ebersohn slotted his second drop-goal of the fixture. But the Bulls, who were without Francois Hougaard and Chiliboy Ralepelle for the second-half, then clicked into gear as, from Steyn's pass, Sampie Mastriet raced into the right corner.

Steyn went from hero to villain seconds after missing his conversion of Mastriet's try when he found a pass swooped upon by Angus Cottrell, who raced clear from 65 metres for the try. Ebersohn's conversion levelled the scores in what was a frantic opening to the second stanza.

The Australians then came close to causing the upset, with Angus Cottrell and Toby Flynn crossing the whitewash within ten minutes of each other, and Ebersohn was on target with both conversions to hand his side a seven-point lead.

The Force held on to their advantage for fifteen minutes until the Bulls made a gutsy fightback.

Steyn succeeded with twelve minutes left on the clock before Cook, who replaced flanker Jacques Potgieter, scored in the 70th minute, with the fly-half converting the try.

The Bulls then finished the match off on a high with prop Kruger scoring his side's bonus-point try at the death.

The scorers:

For the Bulls:
Tries: Steyn, Mastriet, Cook, Kruger
Con: Steyn 2
Pen: Steyn 4

For the Force:
Tries: Cottrell, Lynn
Con: Ebersohn 2
Pen: Ebersohn 2
Drop: Ebersohn 2

Bulls: 15 Zane Kirchner, 14 Sampie Mastriet, 13 Lionel Mapoe, 12 Wynand Olivier, 11 Bjorn Basson, 10 Mornè Steyn, 9 Francois Hougaard, 8 Pierre Spies (c), 7 Arno Botha, 6 Jacques Potgieter, 5 Juandrè Kruger, 4 Flip van der Merwe, 3 Werner Kruger, 2 Chiliboy Ralepelle, 1 Mornè Mellett.
Replacements: 16 Willie Wepener, 17 Frik Kirsten, 18 Grant Hattingh, 19 Jean Cook, 20 Jano Vermaak, 21 Louis Fouchè, 22 Jan Serfontein.

Western Force: 15 Will Tupou, 14 Nick Cummins, 13 Winston Stanley, 12 Kyle Godwin, 11 Alfie Mafi, 10 Sias Ebersohn, 9 Alby Mathewson, 8 Richard Brown, 7 Matt Hodgson (capt), 6 Angus Cottrell, 5 Hugh McMeniman, 4 Toby Lynn, 3 Salesi Ma'afu, 2 Nathan Charles, 1 Pek Cowan.
Replacements: 16 Heath Tessmann, 17 Tetera Faulkner, 18 Sam Wykes, 19 Ben McCalman, 20 Chris Alcock, 21 Mick Snowden, 22 Jayden Hayward.

Referee: Jason Jaftha (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Lourens van der Merwe (South Africa),Sieg van Staden (South Africa)
Television match official: Johan Greeff (South Africa)

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Friday , September 19
Gloucester vs Exeter19:45
Saturday , September 20
Sale vs London Welsh14:00
London Irish vs Saracens15:00
Harlequins vs Wasps15:00
Bath vs Leicester15:15
Sunday , September 21
Newcastle vs Northampton14:00
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Friday , September 19
Munster vs Zebre19:30
Cardiff Blues vs Ulster19:35
Connacht vs Leinster19:35
Saturday , September 20
Newport Gwent D'gons vs Glasgow14:40
Scarlets vs Benetton Treviso18:00
Sunday , September 21
Ospreys vs Edinburgh16:00
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
Top 14
Friday , September 19
Brive vs Toulon18:00
Saturday , September 20
Racing Metro Paris vs Toulouse18:00
La Rochelle vs Bordeaux-Begles18:00
Clermont Auvergne vs Lyon18:00
Castres vs Oyonnax18:00
Grenoble vs Bayonne18:00
Montpellier vs Stade Francais18:00
More Top 14 fixtures
Currie Cup
Friday , September 19
Lions vs Pumas19:10
Saturday , September 20
Western Province vs Griquas15:00
Blue Bulls vs Sharks17:05
Eastern Province Kings vs Cheetahs19:10
More Currie Cup fixtures
ITM Cup
Wednesday, September 17
Southland vs Tasman19:35
Thursday , September 18
Northland vs Taranaki19:35
More ITM Cup fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , September 14
Wasps 20 - 16 NorthamptonWasps vs Northampton Report
Newcastle 18 - 20 London IrishNewcastle vs London Irish Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Guinness PRO12
Cardiff Blues 12 - 33 GlasgowCardiff Blues vs Glasgow Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Top 14
Bordeaux-Begles 27 - 21 MontpellierBordeaux-Begles vs Montpellier Report
More Top 14 results
ITM Cup
Waikato 26 - 21 Counties ManukauWaikato vs Counties Manukau Report
Hawkes Bay 41 - 0 Otago
More ITM Cup results
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , September 13
Gloucester 34 - 27 Sale SharksGloucester vs Sale Sharks Report
Bath 53 - 26 London WelshBath vs London Welsh Report
Exeter 20 - 24 LeicesterExeter vs Leicester Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Rugby Championship
New Zealand 14 - 10 South AfricaNew Zealand vs South Africa Report
Australia 32 - 25 ArgentinaAustralia vs Argentina Report
More Rugby Championship results
Guinness PRO12
Leinster 42 - 12 ScarletsLeinster vs Scarlets Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Top 14
Toulouse 9 - 13 Clermont AuvergneToulouse vs Clermont Auvergne Report
Racing Metro Paris 28 - 11 LyonRacing Metro Paris vs Lyon Report
Bayonne 23 - 6 Brive
Oyonnax 40 - 27 Grenoble
Toulon 24 - 28 Stade FrancaisToulon vs Stade Francais Report
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Griquas 31 - 27 PumasGriquas vs Pumas Report
Cheetahs 30 - 30 SharksCheetahs vs Sharks Report
Lions 35 - 33 Western ProvinceLions vs Western Province Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Bay Of Plenty 12 - 27 AucklandBay Of Plenty vs Auckland Report
Southland 36 - 34 Northland
More ITM Cup results
Aviva Premiership
Friday , September 12
Harlequins 0 - 39 SaracensHarlequins vs Saracens Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Guinness PRO12
Benetton Treviso 10 - 21 MunsterBenetton Treviso vs Munster Report
Newport Gwent D'gons 15 - 17 Ospreys
More Guinness PRO12 results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Saracens29
2Bath29
3Leicester Tigers29
4Exeter26
5Northampton26